Get Schooled: Here’s What Teachers Really Want for the Holidays


We’ve come a long way from the one-room schoolhouse days when teachers received the iconic apple as a gift. Stumped about what to get your child’s teacher for the holidays this year? We’ve queried teachers across the country and asked them about their favorite gifts from students. (Hint: no one said “apple!”)

All the teachers were extremely humble, and it was hard to get an answer, but with a little cajoling, here’s what they want:

“I love getting little thoughtful gifts. One year I was really into nail polish, and received a couple bottles of polish hand-picked by my student. Once I got two tickets to Zoo Tunes with a beach towel and sunscreen in a beach bag to kick off my summer. I had a baby this year and one of my students noticed that I love wearing floral dresses with jean jackets, and he got my baby a matching outfit! Once I got a sweet silver necklace that had a small locket with a tiny drawing from my student.”
Ms. Doyle, First Grade

“The best presents I get are notes saying why my class mattered to them, or how they appreciated me as a teacher.”
Ms. Turner, High School Seniors

“A good old gift card is great or a gift to a pedicure/manicure. Sometimes it’s nice to get something from a local store, like a cool scarf or a personalized wallet. I guess at the end of the day it’s about the sentiment behind it. If you feel like a student really made an effort to pick something out based on your personality.”
Ms. Brown, 3rd grade,

“Thoughtful notes from students are awesome, but I equally love a note from their parents. Coffee cards are a good idea. I am an English teacher so I always appreciate gift certificates to a bookstore. I have a student whose family owns a restaurant and she brings all her teachers fried rice ever few weeks. Another idea is to ask if there are classroom needs they could assist with financially. Really any token of appreciation is good.”
Ms. Kuplik, Middle School

“[My favorite present was] a small, metallic faux leather clutch bag. Perfect for the fashionista teacher to carry during the upcoming holidays.”
Ms. Gross, 2nd grade.

“I love unique ornaments for my Christmas tree or chocolate.”
Mrs. Hobbs, PreK

“I get lots of gift cards and I love it! I also love the little handmade art and notes they bring in. I get those almost every day.”
Mrs. Bachmeier, Kindergarten

“One of my most favorite gifts ever was a gift from the whole class. Some parents worked together to help the students create a beautiful work of art with their names and finger prints. They then framed it and it is now hung in my classroom. I love this special gift from the heart!”
Mrs. Kutil, 1st Grade

What are you planning to give your child’s teacher this year? Let us know in the comments below.

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